Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 3, 2013 07:02 PM
Former pro cyclist George Hincapie made his name for being one of the sport’s top domestiques, the riders that work alongside the eventual winners of the big events such as the Tour de France. Hincapie rode with three of that race’s big winners, including Lance Armstrong, a man he found himself testifying against last year as the Armstrong Myth crumbled.
In the midst of all that, the 39-year-old Hincapie admitted that he had used performance-enhancing drugs at some point in his career and accepted a six-month ban from the sport. Not a big deal since he had already announced his retirement.
But after 19 years of cycling, Hincapie didn’t just spend his time eating whatever he wanted to and watching TV. Nope. The guy decided to open a hotel—for cyclists. Later this summer, Hincapie will open Hotel Domestique, a 13-room high-end hotel in South Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. According to Forbes, the hilltop retreat will feature a “small bike shop with onsite mechanic, preset suggested ride routes, and high-end rental road and mountain bikes from Hincapie’s last team sponsor, Switzerland’s BMC Racing.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 12, 2013 11:53 AM
Condé Nast is used to long lead times and attention to detail with the publication of its high-end titles including Gentlemen's Quarterly, Glamour and Vogue. But in those regards, printing a magazine is nothing next to rolling out an entirely new strategy of brand extension and enhancement in businesses that have little to do with publishing.
Still, Condé Nast has been plowing ahead with its plans to add bars, clubs, restaurants and even a fashion school in various high-profile locations around the world in order to provide completely new sources of revenues, to exploit its magazine and corporate brands in profitable new ways and to produce an ever-more-valuable offset to a traditional magazine-publishing business that—while still comprising a majority of Conde Nast's revenues—isn't a growth industry anymore.
"Our business can no longer be defined strictly as publishing, but takes the form of brand management," Jonathan Newhouse, chairman and CEO of Condé Nast International, told Business of Fashion. "We want to bring the experience of the publishing brands to end users in new forms in order to strengthen the brands and their relevance. Of course, we aim to do so profitably."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 4, 2013 11:38 AM
Spaniard Ferran Adria has been considered one of the world’s top chefs for decades, but it wasn’t clear what would happen with his famed gastronomic skills once his famed restaurant elBulli closed its doors in 2011.
Now all those hungry for such information have got the scoop: Adria has founded “the nonprofit elBulli Foundation, a culinary think tank and visitor center,” which is scheduled to open in 2015, according to Bloomberg.
"We want to promote innovation using food as our channel," said Adria—who's a consultant on food innovation to PepsiCo, which calls him "the world's greatest chef" and put his face on a limited-edition Pepsi can, below—to Bloomberg.
“We have two missions," he added. "One is to keep the elBulli legacy and the knowhow and the buildings. The second is to create the creators. I hope one or two of the 30 creative people we get each year will be the next generation of leaders of the culinary revolution.”Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 20, 2013 12:47 PM
Emblematic of the slow but steady rise in health and wellness awareness, the gold-standard of ‘conscious capitalism,’ natural grocer Whole Foods is taking its brand and business acumen into the health resort sector.
"We have the perfect vehicle for this," Whole Foods Market co-CEO John Mackey told USA Today. "Think of it as a center where people would go for a day, a weekend or a week for healthy lifestyle education."
Call it a spa, resort or "healthy lifestyle education center," it's planned to open in the brand's Austin, Texas, hometown within three years—a pilot project that could catapult the company into the lucrative market pioneered by Canyon Ranch or Pritikin, or it could be another failure along the lines of the five education-focused Wellness Clubs that Whole Foods tested in 2006, including a location in Dallas.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 7, 2013 02:56 PM
Disney CEO and chairman Robert Iger has spent 15 years trying to make Shanghai Disney a reality and now he’s only two years away from walking through its gates. He shared an image yesterday with 450 of the company’s stockholders of what the central 11 acres of the park will look like, including the park’s signature castle. This one, just to put a little exclamation point on things, will be taller than any of the castles in Disney’s five other parks, the Phoenix Business Journal reports.
What Iger didn’t get into is that the new park is close enough to serve as some competition to the one on Lantau Island, Hong Kong, that opened in 2005 and only just turned a profit last year, the L.A. Times reports. Close to half of the visitors to the park—which is 52 percent owned by the Hong Kong government and 48 percent owned by Disney—come from mainland China. Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 20, 2013 01:16 PM
It's just another day in the mad, mad world of fashion. kate spade new york, the eponymous U.S.-based fashion brand is launching "kate spade Saturday," a brand whose name is being disputed by a similarly-coined NYC retailer.
The diffusion line is making its debut in Japan via an online store and a retail location in Tokyo—complete with an American-style café—with plans to have an online presence in Brazil and the U.S. later this spring. (A "sneak peek" at selected items from the new brand was offered on Fab.com through today, February 20.) CEO Craig Leavitt said the brand "saw an opportunity in the market to engage a new customer base—one that aspires to be part of the kate spade new york brand."
The new sub-brand will feature apparel, a beauty line and home decor at a notch below typical kate spade prices, with a target demographic of consumers ages 25 to 35. The price point will be "about 50 percent below" the kate spade brand, and its retail experience promises to thread digital throughout the graphic, pop art-inspired clothes. However, the brand's introduction has not been without some controversy.Continue reading...
Posted by Johnny Trinh on February 1, 2013 03:52 PM
A Bathing Ape (also known as BAPE) creator Tomoaki Nagao (who's also known as NIGO®) has linked with Beams creative director Hiroshi Kubo to produce a limited-edition collection of retro-styled Coca-Cola vendor wear.
NIGO®’s newest label, Human Made, is inspired by pre-1960s Americana. He’s placed a huge emphasis quality and authenticity while still keeping a whimsical nature to the brand with the addition of lighthearted graphics provided by Sk8thing.
As an avid collector of vintage memorabilia, it’s a no brainer that a collaboration with Coca-Cola — ranked currently by Interbrand as the world's best global brand — is a natural fit for both parties. In an interview, NIGO® reveals that he was once a Japan Coca-Cola yo-yo champion back in the '80s and also pulled from his bespoke collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia to inspire this new line.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 21, 2012 10:17 AM
It hasn’t been easy for Air Canada in recent years with plenty of quarterly reports filled with losses. So what's an airline in the red to do? Launch a new sub-brand called "Rouge," of course.
Starting in July, Canadians can start using the new low-cost airline, which will initially fly out of Toronto and Montreal to such destinations as Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Costa Rica as well as Venice, Italy; Edinburgh, Scotland; and Athens. Consumers could start buying tickets Tuesday.
Later next year, Rouge plans to add more Canadian cities to fly out of as well as international destinations – and not just the ones that Air Canada flies to. "The creation of this carrier is to assist us in serving many destinations that our existing model does not work on a competitive basis," said Ben Smith, Air Canada's chief commercial officer, to the CBC.
According to Yahoo! Finance, Air Canada plans to hire 200 people for Rouge, but those employees shouldn’t expect to be rolling in dough. “Cost savings are expected to come from paying lower wages,” the report notes, “and putting more seats in planes in a so-called new ‘multi-tier seating’ structure.” And we’re not talking just a few more seats. The CBC hears it could be as much as 20 percent more. Prepare to not only fasten your seatbelts but suck in your gut, Canada.Continue reading...